This is VIBE Spotlight: a weekly series that celebrates and shines a light on VIBE Arts’ roster of talented artists. Each Monday, our Instagram and website feature a different VIBE Artist and provide a look into their craft. Stay tuned and get to know the diverse talent that makes up our organization and community with #VIBESpotlight.
On this VIBE Spotlight, we’re shining a light on Jennifer McGregor, a VIBE Artist who works within painting, beading and ceramics.
VIBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that you would like to share?
Jennifer: I am working on two new projects at the moment that haven’t been seen publicly yet. One is a new series in glass, a material I have never experimented with, and the other project involves hand beaded and hand sewn gloves. This has been a very challenging process, as I am learning on my own, but very nearly done and I am really excited about them.
VIBE: What has been one of your greatest accomplishments to date?
Jennifer: Maintaining my practice for the last 15 years. It can be difficult to maintain a studio and a career full time, as there are often financial and life pressures. I am grateful that I make enough money doing this that I can still do what I love all these years after graduating and continue to grow.
VIBE: What has been one of your favourite moments while being on the VIBE roster?
Jennifer: Definitely working with the Indigenous group at CAMH. We’ve done a couple of projects, but the most rewarding was making beaded mittens with the group. There was a lot of dedication to this weeks-long project, and some of the participants had never beaded or sewn. Taking that final photograph of everyone wearing their mittens made me so happy for the group.
VIBE: What are some of your future goals?
Jennifer: They are pretty simple: to continue my practice, exploring materials, and perhaps, one day, build my own studio in the country where I can work and offer workshops.
VIBE: What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned thus far?
Jennifer: To cut out the noise and not to get bogged down by where I think I should be compared with others, and instead follow my own path. It can still be a struggle to keep this in mind, though it has gotten easier with age.
VIBE: What changes would you like to see in Toronto’s Art community?
Jennifer: I would love to see a central Toronto organisation whose purpose is to be a galvanizing force for artists, curators, galleries, students, historians and academics to gather, share knowledge, has a central art library and a visual library, and showcases opportunities for all the communities within the art community. A place that doesn’t require membership, but is there as a constant resource for artists of every walk who need or can offer help, much like a public library functions.
Support Jennifer: @jennifermcgregorart
Stay tuned for more VIBE Artists on VIBE Spotlight